St. Vincent showcases erotic beats during avant-garde Tennessee Theatre show

By Luna Brewer, Electronic Co-Director

St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, returned to the Tennessee Theatre Friday, Nov. 24 as a part of her Fear the Future Tour, this time without fearing for her life.

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St. Vincent prepares to begin her second set in the Tennessee Theatre on Friday, November 24, 2017. Luna Brewer/WUTK

Back in 2015, Clark had a much crazier, avant-garde approach to her live performances. Her shows often included exorcisms where Clark crumbled down 10-foot pink plywood pyramid. During that year, Clark hit the Tennessee Theatre for a similar show, but as she climbed a tall stack of amps, the artist fell backwards where she was saved by Tennessee Theatre security guard Patrick Green.

After finishing her Digital Witness Tour, Clark reflected on her relationship with touring, realizing how toxic the relationship was.

Touring became a blood sport for me. I mean, I was born with a whip anyway, and touring became this self-flagellating exercise,” Clark said in an interview with Buzzfeed.

However, much like the growth seen in St. Vincent’s fifth studio album “Masseduction,” her performance tactics have grown and changed, arguably for the better. This time St. Vincent returned to the stage with more, genuine confidence and a renewed sense of artistic passion.

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St. Vincent performs “Masseduction” in the Tennessee Theatre on Friday, November 24, 2017. Quinn Phillips/WUTK

After priming the crowd with an exclusive showing of her 30-minute short film “The Happy Birthday,” which acted as an addition to the all female horror anthology “XX,” St. Vincent presented the crowd with a challenge.

While it was clear St. Vincent had grown since her debut album “Marry Me,” but the question of how the artist would present her older material against her newer, erotic synth-pop beats. But rising to meet expectations, clad in a hot-pink latex bodysuit St. Vincent masterfully transformed older ballads like “Mary Me” and “Strange Mercy.”

While St. Vincent’s mastery of her favorite signature Ernie Ball Music Man guitar and transformations of her older tunes proved impressive, the highlight of the show was her front-to-back performance of “Masseduction.”

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St. Vincent performs “Sugarboy” in the Tennessee Theatre on Friday, November 24, 2017. Quinn Phillips/WUTK

Although some audience members expressed disappointment in leaving her band behind, St. Vincent shone against a background of video clips from recent music videos as she brought her most expressive album to date to life with performances of “Pills,” “New York” and “Happy Birthday, Johnny.”

It’s clear that Clark no longer needs to resort to climbing amps to have a great show, and security guard Patrick Green, who was in attendance, along with the rest of the Tennessee Theatre audience assured St. Vincent that she doesn’t have to fear the future.

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St. Vincent performs “Young Lover” in the Tennessee Theatre on Friday, November 24, 2017. Quinn Phillips/WUTK
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